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Mid-Year Review: Tips for Sticking With Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions

Mid-Year Review: Tips for Sticking With Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions

The “back to school” signs and commercials are in full swing, and although it probably makes you sigh in displeasure, it’s a good reminder that with the end of summer quickly comes the beginning of the holiday season. If you’ve been diligent about budgeting and keeping your New Year’s resolutions you set at the beginning of the year, then you probably already have the holidays in mind and are well on your way to a manageable and debt-free holiday season. But for many of us, we’ve gotten sidetracked throughout the year and let our budgeting and spending habits get a little bit out of hand. To get back on track, do these 5 tips to help you stick to your goals and keep your bank account and credit score in tip-top shape, especially as the holidays are fast approaching. Adapt your goals The thing about setting all of your goals at the beginning of the year is that it’s impossible to know what will happen throughout the year. This is why it’s a good idea to set a new goal each month to work on. Take a look at the goals you set at the beginning of the year, and pick one, only one, to start working on for one month only. At the end of the month, evaluate how well you did and adapt it for the next month, or start a new one if you did well with that goal. Take out cash A great way to keep your spending in check so you don’t run out of discretionary income before the holidays is to use cash....
Are There Credit Score Thresholds for Loan Approvals?

Are There Credit Score Thresholds for Loan Approvals?

Whether or not your credit is “good enough” to secure a certain type of loan isn’t as simple as what number it is. It would be nice if there were set cutoffs that were sure determinants of your eligibility for loans or good interest rates. And while your credit score does matter when it comes to what you can be approved for, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Here is a breakdown of what various credit scores mean, and what else to look for when you’re trying to figure out where you stand with your credit. The Credit Scale FICO scores are the most commonly used scores. These scores can range from 300-850. On a basic level, where your score lies within this range helps lenders and other interested parties determine whether you’re a good candidate for a loan or credit card, what kind of interest rate you qualify for, how much you need to pay for insurance, and even if you would be a good tenant to a landlord. With your credit score being used for so many aspects of life, it’s important that you do make sound financial choices to keep your score in a good range. But what is a good range? The following ranges can give you good idea of where your credit score falls: 750+ – excellent 700-749 – good 650-699 – fair 550-649 – poor 550 and below – bad This score is calculated by a number of factors, including: Payment history (35 percent) Credit utilization ratio (30 percent) Credit history (15 percent) Types of credit (10 percent) variety of debt –...
Can the Death of a Loved One Affect Your Credit Score?

Can the Death of a Loved One Affect Your Credit Score?

As if you don’t already have enough to worry about when a loved one passes away, what should you do about any outstanding debt from the deceased? Will the heirs inherit and be responsible for the debt? Will it show up as their debt on their credit report? These questions and more are commonly asked when a loved one passes away. Here are some answers that will hopefully help those in this situation. Debt is not inherited First and foremost, it’s important to know that credit card debt does not get passed down. Only the person who signed up for the credit card is responsible for it, and it cannot be transferred to someone else. If the credit card is shared, any living person who is on the account will be responsible for the debt, however. Additionally, other types of debt will not be added to another’s name or credit history. But that does not mean it doesn’t have to be paid. Who is responsible for the deceased’s outstanding debt? When an individual dies, their outstanding debt is settled by their estate. An estate is comprised of a deceased individual’s assets, including their home, car, cash, etc. A person called an executor is usually designated in the will as the individual responsible for the deceased’s estate and financial situation. It is the executor’s responsibility to notify the credit bureaus and contact the lenders and creditors that their loved one has passed and to settle the outstanding debts with the estate. What if the debt isn’t paid? As mentioned previously, credit card debt is not passed down and is considered...
How Long Does It Take To Improve My Credit Score?

How Long Does It Take To Improve My Credit Score?

When you make a big mistake or find yourself in financial trouble, it can feel like the end of the world. Many people feel a lot of guilt and shame when they are faced with the consequences of their financial mistakes, but take heart – negative items on your credit report do not last forever. In fact, they will bear less weight with time, even if they don’t disappear. Here are some factors that affect how long it will take you to improve your credit score. Depends on where you start “The higher you climb, the further you fall,” rings true for your credit score. If your score started really high, like in the 800’s, it will take you more time to get back to that than if your credit score was in the 600’s when it took a hit, simply because there is more ground to make up. Additionally, if you have a history of late payments or maintain a high credit utilization ratio, it may be more difficult to start fresh than if you have a single negative item you’re worried about. Your credit history is important, and even the amount of time you’ve had accounts open will matter when it comes to your credit score. Depends on what the negative items were There are various items that can negatively impact your credit score. Some of which include: Opening new credit lines Closing accounts Maintaining a high balance Late or missed payments Bankruptcy But not all of these items are weighed equally. And even if you do have one of the heavier-weighed items, like bankruptcy, on your...
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